Thursday, May 18, 2017

Free Enterprise Day

Last week, B got to participate in a really cool project at school.  His class, actually his entire grade level, had been learning about wants and needs and supply and demand.  To help the kids see the concepts in action, the entire 2nd grade would have a Free Enterprise Day.  Kids would set up stores with goods or services and the other kids would shop using their classroom money.

Getting to Free Enterprise Day was an exercise in frustration.  I wrote about it last week in this post Butting Heads.

As with most things that I get frustrated and upset about, Free Enterprise Day turned out just fine.

B woke up that morning so excited.  He dressed himself "like a business man" in a polo style shirt.  This shirt has a really cute pair of bright orange shorts that go with it but I couldn't convince him to wear the whole outfit.  I decided to pick my battles.

When I asked to take this picture he told me he needed to "stand like a business man".  For whatever reason this meant grabbing the front of his shirt.  It was super cute!

I was worried that B wouldn't sell all his tic tac toe boards since they were terribly overpriced at $2 each.  He tried to explain to me that it was fake money and would be ok.  I tried to explain to him that money is money.  Real or fake you only have so much and no one wants to spend $2 on a hand drawn tic tac toe board and 12 bingo markers from Mardels.  I, of course, lost and the boards stayed priced at $2.

When B got off the bus that afternoon he was so happy!  He said he sold most of his boards.  "Lot of adults bought them for their kids".   I think this means that lots of adults love him and didn't want him to be disappointed.  He thought that meant that the adults really saw value in his creation and wanted their kids to have one for themselves.  I don't really care, he was happy!  His principal tweeted about Free Enterprise Day and included a picture of B's group.  He looks so happy in the picture.

I've been thinking about all the hassle leading up to Free Enterprise Day.  Should I have let him make his elaborate board then deal with the consequences?  Except for paying for all the supplies, it might have been easier.  Definitely the path of least resistance.  But the path of least resistance isn't always a good parenting strategy.  Kids have to have limits. I don't want squash B's dreams but I also don't want to shell out $50 in supplies for homemade board games. I don't want to think that I stifled his creativity.   I'd like to think that I did B a favor by helping him learn limits.

Yea, let's just go with that!

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